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Stewart Smith


It’s been a while since I saw a good modern thriller. I think my last one was Inception. But finally, I found another one in Unknown.

Unknown follows Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) who, while visiting Berlin with his wife (January Jones) for a conference, is involved in a taxi crash and goes into a coma for four days. When he awakens in the hospital to find that his wife doesn’t know he’s there he immediately returns to the hotel to find her. He finds that, not only does nobody know who he is – including his wife – but somebody else has taken his place! Trying to make sense of the situation, he finds his taxi driver, Gina (Diane Kruger), and persuades her to help him to figure out what is going on and to get his life back.

As I said, Unknown is a fun thriller that I would compare to movies such as Taken, Air Force One, and the James Bond series. But I have to say one thing – they could have used more unique techniques to go with the plot. I mean, look at Inception: A great story idea allowed them to make a visual and audible masterpiece. Unknown has a great story, but I feel that they could have milked this for more creative cinematography.

It did, however, have one of the best car chase scenes I’ve seen in movies all my life. I mean, the car runs backwards through a pedestrian zone, spins rapidly, flips over, and explodes! (Although, I question how he survived that and yet got knocked unconscious by the taxicab accident.)

Unknown is a little dark, but it is fast paced and exciting, so older kids would enjoy it. It is quite violent at points, but that is, I think, pretty over-stressed and nothing too graphic. It has some minor sexual references, but they aren’t that bad.

Age Recommendation: The movie is rated PG-13 but I feel that kids 11+ should be OK watching this. Parents may disagree, but I think that it isn’t too bad. Kids nowadays are exposed to more adult things earlier on.

Final Verdict: An enjoyable thriller, but leaves a little desired in filming. 8/10

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Adrian Feuchtwanger March 3, 2011, 3:30 pm

    hey stewart, thanks for the insightful review. you might also have mentioned the leading german actors in it: sebastian koch and bruno ganz. at any rate, that, and the berlin setting, are some of the reasons I’m going to see it when it opens in london tomorrow. i hope it will be a bit like the fugitive (1993) with harrison ford, where the protagonist has to fight his way back from a situation where the whole world seems to have ganged up on him. love movies like that! harrison ford and liam neeson both do a good job of showing the “hunted” look in their mannerisms. anyway, take care, say hola to your parents. Adrian

  • Joan Stewart Smith March 3, 2011, 7:42 pm

    Adrian, I didn’t see the film, but when I saw that Bruno Ganz (“Der Himmel über Berlin”) was in it, I wished I went!

  • Nan March 6, 2011, 9:29 am

    Sounds like a good film Stew – funnily enough I actually watched “Taken” on TV here last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I really Like Liam Neeson’s films and think he would make a great James Bond when they need one again!

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